Warner Bros. was all over Comic-Con this year, from the animated side and the live action side of things.
After The Reaping, they launched right into The Wicker Man with writer and director Neil LaBute. Most famous for Nurse Betty, Neil is taking on the remake of the classic 1973 version with Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward.
Neil introduced the movie by showing us the first scene with the star, Nicolas Cage riding his police motorcycle. He sees a little girl throw her doll out of the window of a station wagon, speeds up and grabs it as he's driving. What was great about the shot was you saw it from the front of the bike - a perfectly angled shot.
He tracks down the car and gives the girl back her doll, only to have her throw it out of the window again. As Nic goes to get it back, their car is mauled by an 18-wheeler truck, blowing up the car. Nic goes to rescue the girl and her mother, but the car blows up throwing Nic into the middle of the street. That's how the scene ended.
He then took some questions from the fans and talking about what makes this version different than the original. "We're taking that story and making it completely new. We've changed the island from a patriarchal society to a matriarchal society; the females are the workers, while the males are the drones."
Neil also mentioned the score and music themes will not be returning. "There'll be very little singing," he pointed out. "We will not have scenes where they break out into song."
The Wicker Man arrives in theaters September 1st.
Next, Warner showed a video-taped message from Daniel Radcliffe and director David Yates. The crowd cheered when Daniel came on the screen. They joked around about sitting in each others chairs, but then got down to business and talked a little bit about working on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. David pointed out in this film, "Harry is in a battle for his life and soul. There's a wonderful battle scene at the end for his life; it's absolutely amazing."
Daniel talked about working on this film, "It's fantastic; it's such a blast being on set." David gave out some info about Professor Umbridge, played by Imelda Staunton. "She's a cross between Doris Day and Freddy Krueger," he said. They're also going to add some new creatures for this fifth version of the Harry Potter series; "We're also bringing in these half-men/half-horse characters to the mix, that are wonderful."
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix opens in theaters July 13, 2007.
Finally, Bryan Singer came out to show some bloopers from Superman Returns. I have to say, that made the event; I don't think I laughed harder than during those clips. There was a Marlon Brando spoof with Kevin Spacey giving the finger; another was Parker Posey criticizing the crew from stopping the shot, even though they were shooting digitally. James Marsden also had a great skit with Kate Bosworth as he kept coming up with different headlines to say she was sleeping with Superman; neither could keep a straight face.
Bryan was introduced to the crowd with huge applause. "Thank you. I hope you liked the movie, if you saw it," he joked. He announced he is going to make a sequel to the film, for release in 2009. When asked about returning to the X-Men series, he was left with saying, "I have to see who's left." Of course, there were a number of characters that can't return to the film.
He also talked about deleting a special scene in Superman Returns, one that he will be re-releasing in IMAX later in the year; it's the part where Superman returns to Krypton. Bryan said he wishes he could add it, "but the timing just didn't work; I just couldn't put it in."
Bryan then said he couldn't continue the panel without bringing someone out who is very special - that person was Richard Donner. Richard talked about not coming back for the second movie, but that he did have a nearly completed project. "We were supposed to shoot 1 and 2 together, but when timing didn't work out, we stopped. I was not brought back to finish the second movie."
Richard did, however, have the chance recently to work on the re-release of the DVD for the first film. He rescued a lost scene he had shot, but wasn't used in the Richard Lester version. It was a scene where Lois thinks she's figured out that Clark Kent is Superman, so she jumps out of a window to prove it. Fortunately for her, Clark speeds out of the office to save her, and then quickly speeds back to the office so that she would not be fooled. Oh, I forgot to mention, he let her land in a pile of watermelons. It was a great scene, and I'm still not sure why it wasn't in the movie.
Of course, Superman Returns is in theaters now; the Richard Donner Collection DVD will be out later this year.